ShinyShiny snippets: Google changes ‘White Noise’ sound on Nest Hub devices

In case you didn’t know, Google Assistant devices like the Nest Hub can play white noise ambient sound to help you or your young ones get to sleep. However, multiple users have noticed that Google recently changed that to something that loops more frequently and has a muffled sound, according to 9to5Google. As a result, they and their infants and toddlers are apparently losing sleep over it…Previously, it looped the White Noise sound every hour, but now the sound is repeated every 10 minutes, something users find annoying and repetitive. On top of that, the previously crisp sound file is now apparently “muffled” and quieter than before. “It’s a different pitch, almost muffled,” said one user. “Very annoying you have to set the volume to 70 percent,” another noted. Engadget

Online daters have been warned about the dangers of fake celebrity profiles after a woman was duped out of thousands of pounds by a romance fraudster posing as Hollywood star Nicolas Cage. The woman believed she was exchanging messages with the Oscar-winning actor on Facebook and lost about £10,000 in the scam, the charity Victim Support revealed. Reports of romance fraud have soared during the pandemic but a senior detective told Sky News they were “the tip of the iceberg” as many victims are too embarrassed to come forward. Sky News 

Women throughout the country are coming forward with horror stories of finding Apple AirTag tracking devices hidden in their cars, bags, coats and other items. The $30 wireless devices were designed to help keep track of items people often misplace, like keys or wallets, but have increasingly been revealed to be used by suspected stalkers to track women. A young mother in Texas said she found an AirTag taped inside her duffel bag as she traveled from Texas to Maine.  ‘I think they definitely would have hurt me. I don’t think you do that for no reason,’ she told Inside Edition.  ‘It took almost 14 hours to let me know this was happening,’ she said. Daily Mail 

Amazon says it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year, a first for the online behemoth and a fresh challenge for already struggling traditional retailers. Amazon said Thursday that the store, which will sell women’s and men’s clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, California. Shoppers will get personalized recommendations pushed to their phones as they browse the new Amazon Style store stocked mostly non-Amazon fashion labels, the Seattle based company said. Amazon declined to offer any more details on the labels. AP News 

A British student has designed an app that aims to make it easier for people with specific dietary requirements to select the food they can eat. Third-year Coventry University student Jake Sarkar used the skills he learned on his computer science course to design an app called Avoid. The app allows people to check if food they want to buy from a shop fits their dietary needs, such as vegans and those with lactose intolerance – but it is not designed as a primary safety measure for people with serious allergies. Independent

If the world of Call of Duty seems fraught enough when you are playing it, try being in it. That could be the consequence of Microsoft’s proposed $68.7bn (£50.4bn) acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the video games maker behind the shoot ’em up franchise. Announcing the deal, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said that gaming would “play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms”. The metaverse is a catch-all term for an immersive experience that blends the physical and digital worlds through a mixture of virtual and augmented reality. The Guardian 

Looking for a new pair of sports headphones to help you achieve your New Year fitness goals? Then you should strongly consider the Bose Sport Earbuds, especially now that they’re down to their lowest price ever at Amazon. Amazon has knocked the true wireless earbuds down to £139, that’s £40 off their typical RRP. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen these typically £179 buds go for.  There’s currently £40 off Bose’s wireless earbuds at Amazon. They’re IPX4 water-resistant and packed with useful features, including 15 hour battery life, Bluetooth 5.0 and quick charging. The deal is also available at Currys. What Hi-Fi 


Chris Price